Wattie Ink Elite Team

Wattie Ink Elite Team
Rocking The W again in 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

MonticelloMan Olympic - Kicking off 2014

MonticelloMan is a young race in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains just east of Charlottesville Virginia. In only its 4th year, the race production team of Charlottesville Multisports and race director Kate Lucas put on a really great event last weekend. I would recommend this tough but enjoyable olympic distance race to anyone.
This would be my multisport season opener for 2014 and was a last minute addition to the calendar as I am preparing for the Rev3 Championship race in Knoxville in just 2 weeks. I felt I needed a practice run and damn was I right. I came into the race with good fitness, some quality results from single sport efforts I put out in the months leading up (a 1:18 half marathon in March and PB 20k TT of 26 minutes with an all time high average power). Notice I mentioned nothing about any good swims. Yeah.....that would come into play at this race.
The days leading up to the race I realized I had not done an olympic distance race since 2009. I am not one who like to race too often but little did I know that all I had been doing was long course racing for the past 4 years. I don't care what anyone tells you...short course racing is brutal. Before you go and want to jump up to that Ironman distance ask yourself if you have truly learned how to "RACE" the olympic distance. The answer will most likely be No.
The race was a beach start into the beautiful (and chilly) Lake Monticello for the 1500m swim. I got in a quick warm up and briefly chatted with some friends at the swim start. The countdown 3,2,1....GO and it was on. I got out to a good start in my blue seventy Helix which is such an amazing wetsuit. The only problem with my swim was that I was in Long Course swimming mode and was comfortable the entire way. As a reflected back and thought about the swim I never was uncomfortable for a second. No excuses, no issues, not a damn thing done wrong except that I was comfortable and that can't be done in any race let alone a short course race. I exited the water in 26:xx and got quickly into transition. I had no idea how many people were ahead of me or how far ahead they were but I knew I had dug myself a hole. Now I had to get to work.
I was really looking forward to getting out and giving my new Reynolds Cycling race wheels (Aero 72/90 Combo)on my Cannondale Slice RS (Thanks Carytown Bikes) a true test. The course was talked up as a tough one by all of the athletes I knew that had raced it before. I tend to take that with a grain of salt as everyones last race was the hilliest, hardest, most epic course ever. There was no doubt that this was not a flat course but it wasn't a brutal course either. The best way to describe this course if "not flat". You were either going up or going down for the entire 40k but none of the climbs were that hard (got out of aero one time) and none of the decants that fast or long. Right out of transition I made a wrong turn.....thankfully the volunteers saw it and corrected me quickly so I only lost about 10 seconds or so. Once on the course I got to the business of the day...Passing People. One by one I went after each carrot that dangled in front of me tucked in a tight position feeling the air slide across my Rudy Project Wingspan as I turned into a headwind about half way. It was important to stay tucked and unexposed to the wind as I was in hot pursuit of the guys in front of me. I had to break my position very rarely as my Speedfil Z4 kept my Powerbar Sports Drink right in-between my arms. The only issue I had during this ride was my inability to hit the race wattage I was targeting. In fact I was about 20 watts lower than expected due to the fact that I just couldn't get there.
No excuses, no issues, not a damn thing wrong.....just couldn't do it. I finished up the ride in 59:xx which I am pleased with this day.
Quick T2 was not so quick as I took the time to put on socks (which I normally don't do in shorter races) because with Knoxville only 2 weeks away the last thing I wanted to deal with was a blister. On with the new Adidas Adios Boost racing flats from our friends at Road Runner Sports and then out on the course.
The run course was just like the bike course "not flat". Damn....my legs were still in half ironman mode but thats what I had that day. Time to try and pull back as many people as I could. Nothing hurt, nothing was uncomfortable, but all I could do was muster up 6 flat miles. 4 passes later and 38:xx I was done and across the finish line in 9th overall in 2:07:xx.
It was great to be out there with 5 other Wattie Ink Elite Team members (all of which podiumed #rocktheW) and other Black Dragon Racing / CVE athletes.
I want to thank Wattie Ink, Powerbar, blueseventy, Reynolds, Speedfil, ISM, Herbalife, Spidertech, 454 Tattoo, 10 Barrel Brewing, Central Virginia Endurance, and Black Dragon Racing for making the 1st race of this 2014 campaign happen. Here is to the rest of the season.

REV3 Championship in Knoxville in just a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mid Season Report

I have done a piss poor job of blogging this season and it is for no other reason than I have been super busy. Life at Central Virginia Endurance is going great and we are seeing so much success with the team and all of our athletes. Personally my racing has been a bit up and down but I have my eye on the prize and am very focused on Ironman Canada in Whistler at the end of August.

Here is a brief review of the first half of the season.

1/19/13 Snowcone 5k Series Race #1 - 1st Place Overall
2/2/13 Snowcone 5k Series Race #2 - 1st Place Overall (Course Record)
2/24/13 Monster Cross Ultra Cyclocross Race - PR but got my ass kicked
3/16/13 Shamrock Half Marathon - 1:19:44 3rd AG (COLD AND WINDY....OUCH)
4/13/13 Monument Ave 10k - 35:33 3rd AG (Most fun I had racing in a long time)
5/4/13 Wildflower Long Course - 4:59:09 6th AG (Hardest Race I Have EVER Done)
6/9/13 Eagleman 70.3 - 4:30:37 Got my ass handed to me on a plater. Horrible Race.
6/26/13 Rev3 Williamsburg Long Course - 4:36:43 8th Overall, 3rd AG and finally a solid race.
7/4/13 Brentwood Firecracker 5k - 1st Place AG

Thanks to all of my amazing sponsors and supporters who help me day in and day out to make this all happen. My Family, Central Virginia Endurance, Wattie Ink, K-Swiss, BlueSeventy, Power Bar, ISM, Kask, Rev3, and anyone else I may be forgetting.....thank you!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Race Schedule

Here is the plan for 2013. There will be some additions but this is the framework of the year!

Feb 24th Monster Cross - Richmond, VA. 50 mile Ultra Cyclocross Race
March 17th Shamrock Half Marathon - Virginia Beach, VA
April 13th Monument Ave 10k - Richmond, VA
May 4th Wildflower Long Course - Bradley, CA
May 15-19th Steel Hammer High Mileage Camp, ZAP Fitness, Boone, NC
June 9th Eagleman 70.3 - Cambridge, MD
June 23rd REV3 Half Iron - Williamsburg, VA
August 25th Ironman Whistler - Whistler BC
October 12th Ironman World Championships - Kona, HI (TBD)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 Things I Learned From Jenna

Well I'm back to the blogging. Its been a while...in fact its been since my Ironman Texas blog. Why so long. The Readers Digest version is that my head has been firmly planted in my rear. Feeling sorry for myself for not racing as fast as I trained to race. Well last weekend I had the honor of racing with a very special young lady named Jenna. I got to tow her on the bike and push her on the run, and laugh all day long with her. During this race I learned some things about life and myself.......so I figured I would share.

1. Smiles and Laughter are POWERFUL
Picture yourself climbing the steepest of inclines, running through the hardest rain, heart beating through your chest, legs burning, and being serenaded by the sounds of the purest laughter you have ever heard. Do you know how powerful of a motivator that can be.....and how contagious it is. I found out with the joyful bellows of Jenna on Sunday. Funny thing is that I never knew I could smile and laugh out loud while in an anaerobic state.

2. Do something IMPACTFUL for others
Its easy to go through life and consider your self philanthropic because you donate money to different causes....but how impactful is that? Do something IMPACTFUL for someone else! Volunteer for something that gives you nothing in return, and then watch as you get SO much in return. I watched the impact I had on a family I never had met before, and now I feel connected to them for life!

3. Triathletes take themselves TOO SERIOUS
I include myself in this statement. Life is too short and too precious to be so damn serious. I know we are a sport of "A" Type personalities but holy crap people....when you are coming up behind a guy towing a trailer in a race....up hill...do you really need to yell at him to "get out" of your way? How did it feel to have that same guy with the trailer later pass you up the hill? And Yes you passed him on the flat portion back in....but it must have stung when he caught you at mile 1 of the run and blew your doors off! "Get out of the way" could easily have been "on your left".....dont think we impacted your overall win chances....dont take yourself too serious bro!

4. Cold Rain can be FUN
I know what your saying....yuck. Let me tell you that going into this event I thought the same thing, but then I learned that it is all about perspective. Jenna taught me that clod rain is only miserable if you let it be....or you can decide to smile and laugh...guess what....Rain Is Fun.

5. Self Pity Parties can only last 1 Hour
After a few disappointing races this year I threw the longest pity party in history. "Oh poor me....I didn't race as fast as I wanted".  What an ass I was! Its ok to be disappointed....but new rule is to never be down longer than 1 hour. Jenna taught me that if I hadn't have snapped out of it, I would have never had the amazing experience that I did with her!

6. The World is an AMAZING Place when you're Surrounded by AMAZING People
Yes...its that simple. If there are toxic people in your life.....get rid of them. Amazing people make your world a much more interesting, exciting, and much happier place. I am so grateful to have the family & friends I have! You all make me a better person!

7. "BAM" is one of the Coolest Words ever
I asked Jenna to yell "Bam" when we passed anyone during the race. I thought it would keep her engaged and me motivated. It ended up being my favorite word of the year. The faster I ran, the more she laughed, the more people we caught, the more she said "Bob BAM".  We need more laughter and BAM.

8. Giving Back to Community means Making Sacrifices
I hear coaches say that they coach because they want to "give back to the community". I say thats bullshit. Giving back to the community does not result in a profit to your bottom line. Giving back means going outside of your comfort zone, letting go of things that may be important to you, and doing selflessly for OTHERS. It also feels very good....

9. Everyone Should Try this Once
I cant even describe in words the feelings that continue to flood me when I see pictures from this weekend. It's life changing.

10. I Love My Life
I am who I am....some people love me....some people don't. Im ok with that. Those that are in my life know they get 100% from me every day and they deserve it. I am lucky to do what I love everyday. I have the greatest family ever. The greatest (and craziest) friends ever! Jenna helped me put that back in perspective.

Thank you Jenna!!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ironman Texas 2012

Sit back, Relax, and enjoy the ramblings of my race at Ironman Texas.

Many lessons were learned in my 2011 race here in Texas so I had a new strategy to approaching the mass start. I got caught in the insanity that was the buoy line last year and had no interest in that fight. Instead I lined up to the far right as we worked our way into the water. The temperature of the water was 80.4 degrees so wetsuits were out of the question. I did get to race in my new Blue Seventy PTX3 Skinsuit which was amazing. No comparison to the XTERRA Skinsuit I used in the past few years. The Blue Seventy suit was so much more comfortable and well built. The race was to start at 7 am and to get a decent position on the start line you needed to get in at about 6:45 which meant 15 minutes of close contact treading. Kick, punch, heal, thigh, calf, ouch, ouch, ugh....let's go please. 

The clock approached 7 and it was go time. The cannon fired and it was time to go to work. Head down and I immediately found clean water. I remember thinking to myself "this will not last long" since at this point last year I was already pummeled. I got into a nice groove, focused on my timing, and went. Had a few run ins on the way out to the first turn but nothing like last year. The first turn buoy seemed to never come. It was one yellow buoy after the next....after the next....after the next.....where the fuck is the red turn buoy? Finally it came and I was around it with no contact....what's going on I though....am I way far back? Am I way far up? Did everyone drown? Whatever it was I was ok with it. Next turn was the same and I was having fun in the water for the first time ever. That lasted for about 20 minutes until the right hand turn down the canal of misery. This canal is no more than 75 feet wide and it's shallow. One would think that hundreds of athletes swimming in the same direction down a canal would create a current of some sorts...but not in the canal of misery....that would make too much sense...it chooses to defy logic and physics and make life even harder for the athletes. The canal is also where everyone who just swam beyond their ability for 40 minutes come to a complete halt and create a ton of traffic. All the clean water I had enjoyed earlier was now gone. Few punches, kicks, and even what looked like a panicked hug from one athlete was delivered during the canal of misery.

 I remember the sheer joy of seeing the swim exit and reaching the stairs out of the water. Looked at the clock expecting the worse and was surprised by the best swim performance I ever turned in during Ironman. Long day ahead but a great start.

Transition is normally uneventful and I like it that way. Got my bag, in the tent, shoes on, helmet on, race belt on, sunglasses on, nutrition check, BOOM....sprint to the bike. And I did.....I hauled ass through and was out beginning to end in well under 3 minutes. Let's Ride.

Ahhhhhhhh...my favorite part of Ironman and the part I believe makes me good at it. Part power, part discipline, part nutrition, all speed. I quickly got into my groove, locked into my targeted wattages, and got my nutrition rolling. I quickly realized that this was not going to be like last year. We were gifted some cloud cover last year and Mother Nature waited for the marathon to open the sky's and pound us with sun. This year there were no clouds, no where to hide, and it was hot already...at 8 in the morning. I was in a good place and quickly passing droves of athletes. It was a comedy show as I knew by watching which athletes passing me were going to explode in an amazing display of undisciplined riding and it was a show. Texas is not the corse where 20 miles into the bike you should see people hammering past you out of the saddle, pushing 350 watts or more on a 3% incline that lasts 100 meters....that's asking for trouble....but I was thankful for their entertainment. I stayed disciplined and kept rolling and getting in my nutrition. At about 60 miles into the bike I had something happen that never happened before. I was cooking!!! Physically I could feel the heat and I felt like a egg frying. I actually thought "I want to get off this bike....I'm miserable....and I have 52 miles left....oh shit". This was not good..my head was not going to a good place. It was time to regroup. I spent the next miles trying to break the race into manageable chunks but I noticed that my thinking was getting foggy....what mile am I on...didn't I just pass that....when's the next aid station...damn it's hot. Here is where last year was kinder also...the returning head wind was brutal and relentless. For the rest of the ride we would have the hot wind in our face. It was at this point I started to think maybe I behind on my nutrition and needed to make an adjustment. One of my bottles of Ironman Cocktail we figured out last year was empty and I was struggling to reach the replacement behind my seat. Time for some stretching and to get this damn bottle. So I get up out of my aero bars, one bottle hanging from my teeth, turned almost completely around to my right and I finally get my hand on the bottle. Pull it out and put it in my cage and with the other bottle still dangling from my teeth I see someone on my right...I glance over to see an official giving me a red card. WTF???? What the hell did I do? "Drafting".... I asked where and when.....he responded "just now"....you mean while I was fumbling with my bottles? "Yes" he responded. So your telling me I accidentally drifted into the 3 bike length buffer while getting my bottles straight and that's drafting? He responded that I had been there longer than 15 seconds and it didn't matter if I gained no advantage....I broke a rule. Where was he for the blatant drafters? So I got to spend 4 damn minutes at the mile 90 penalty tent watching people zoom on by and all because I lost my focus. Lesson learned. The cooking continued. I remained focused on the task at hand. I fought, regained a handle on my nutrition, stayed hydrated (peed 4 times on the bike), and tried to get in a good place mentally to go to war on the run.
Bike split was solid (actually faster than last year without the penalty and it was a harder day).

Calm, collected, and fast is how I wanted to approach this transition. Mission accomplished on all fronts. Time to sunscreen up and run.

This section should be titled "A tale of two Bob's". As I got out on the run course I was happy to see my body responding very well. I felt amazing! All the negative thoughts that had rolled through my head had been clensed and I was back to my old self. It was time to go to war. I had never been able (mentally) to race the marathon during an Ironman and that was what I trained myself to do this year.simplerace the marathon. If I was going to pop I was going to discover where my limit was that day and have no regrets (easier said than done with the no regrets part). As I hit my stride it I felt great and the miles were clicking off quickly. I was on target with my nutrition taking in the calories I needed at each aid station and trying to manage my core body temperature as best I could……but fuck it was hot. Each aid station was a hit of my flask full of 2nd Surge Gel chased with Coke, Water, Perform, more Water, and packing in the ice. Strangely the aid stations seem to have run out of ice (or didnt have any in the first place) come the second lap. My pace was slowing on the second lap but not to a degree where I was concerned. I wanted to get through it as cleanly as possible and then leave it all on the course the 3rd lap..little did I know how much I would leave out there. The story changed at mile 18 as I grabbed a cup of water, tossed it back, and started to vomit. No warning signs, no bloating, no stomach discomfort, nothing would have prepared me for my guts coming up in an instant. I let it all loose for about 90 seconds and was able to regroup.lets get moving I thought. About 6 steps later it happened again..and then for the next 8 miles anything I did above a trot resulted in vomiting (or dry heaving at that point). I was reduced to a 15 minute mile walking pace as I stumbled my way towards the days end. My heart hurt with sadness and disappoint as I plugged along watching my race slip away. Mile 25 added another dynamic to the day. As I passed the 25th mile marker and had 1.2 miles left in my day, I was passed by an asshole screaming get out of my wayIm on my last lap!!!  Really.am I notare you on your way to the course record..and I holding back from your winning lottery ticket? This was ridiculous and I was reinspired. No matter how much I dry heaved, no matter how much I vomited, no matter how bad I hurt…….I am going to get his asshole. I pick up the trot a bit, gagged a few times, and picked it up again. I kept him in site but he still pulled away. When we entered the long and winding finish chute (which in its cruelty finished up hill), I uncorked a finishing kick like I was back in college running the 5000m. I gave it everything I had and caught him at the line! Take that……..your finisher photo will forever have you looking to your left at me.the guy who was in your way!
The aftermath.I dropped.got rushed to the medical tent.3 bags of fluid, anti-nausea meds, body packed with ice, electrolyte imbalances, BP was way high, body hated me.

At the end of the day I went 10:38 which included 8 miles of walkingnot bad for an effort that put me in the darkest place I have ever visited racing. At first I was disappointed, but I now am proud as hell that I went there, That I dared to race the Ironman, and this time I came up just a tough short. Next time (in 8 weeks in Lake Placid) the story will be different.

Thanks to all my sponsors at Wattie Ink, K-Swiss (the Kwicky Blade Lights are insane), Blue Seventy (loved my speed suit), ISM (the Time Trial Saddle is pure love), Pacific Health Labs (mmmmmm.good nutrition.mmmmm), Carytown Bikes, Inspiring HR, and of course Central Virginia Endurance!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Time to get Rocking

Well some time has passed since the first post of the year and there is so much going on in my life....all good stuff. Since my last post I have left the corporate world and opened the CVE Performance Training Center (Grand Opening this Saturday 4/14). The place is amazing and I will post some pics after this weekend. Making the final touches. I've been adjusting to what I thought would be more time but is really not. New free time was quickly filled with everything I had dreamed I wanted to do with CVE and so much more is to come. All of our athletes are on track to do some insane things this year. Watching them hammer day in and day out, seeing the gains each of them are making, and the early season success makes me think that there is no doubt we will be a huge success!
My personal training has been 2 things.....#1 Consistent and #2 Healthy
What more could I ask for??? 40 days out from Ironman Texas and just 12 days out from a half iron distance race in Charleston SC where a squad of Black Dragons are rolling in to bring it.
I got a couple single sport run races under my belt in the past month with a 1:19 half marathon in late March and a 35 minute 10k just a week ago. Not my fastest running by any means but much faster than anything I did last season. I am so far ahead of where I was last year heading into Texas....so I am confident and plan on doing something I never did at the Iron distance......going to RACE it.
Also been so stoked to be part of the Wattie Ink Elite Team. Being involved with so many talented athletes has kept me focused and the support from Sean Watkins and our sponsors has been amazing! Thank You all for giving me the chance to be part of it.

Now we are getting to the fun stuff.....Race Season is here...stay tuned.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Keeping the Wheels On

Its been a while since I have been motivated to blog (or had the time). Life has been an amazing whirlwind of ups, downs, and everything in-between. The one thing that has remained constant in my life has been my training and I had an awesome January. Funny thing though is that I still keep waiting for the wheels to fall off.....but they haven't.
Last season was a dream come true and many times in my head still is just that....a dream. Returning from the accident that put me out of the game for part of 09' and all of the 10' season the only goal was to get to the finish line in my races. The ass that I am signed up for a real early season 70.3 in New Orleans and even more asinine early season Ironman (Texas). The entire time I was preparing for theses races all I wanted to do was remain healthy......but I was convinced that the wheels were going to come off. I refused to book my travel arrangements until the last moment because I knew the minute I was locked in....bam...injury was on its way. I had rehabbed a fractured femur, bilateral chronic Plantar fasciitis, and the mental scar of being struck by a reckless driver while training. Well the training came along slowly, safely, and methodically and I made it to the start line of both races (and with almost no run training. 1 long run of 1:40 before IM TX). A lack of fitness forced me to race smarter than I ever had before but luck would have it that I managed to win a 70.3 slot to Vegas and an Ironman World Championship slot to Kona!
Fast forward to 2012 and I have a successful Vegas and Kona experience in the rearview mirror and a whole new season of opportunities ahead of me.....but yet I can't let go of the fear that the wheels will come off. I need to let it go! I managed to finally let go of the anger from the accident. Now I need to get past this constant state of worry and enjoy the training journey that I am on. I just wrapped up a mega January with Swims, Bikes, and Runs better than any January prior and I am healthy.
Whats going on in 2012.......well as most of you know I am the owner of Central Virginia Endurance. The CVE Logo features the very popular Black Dragon that has been a part of our edgy culture since day 1. Kind of fitting that 2012 is the "Year of the Dragon" in the Chinese Calendar. In March we open our new Performance Training Center! Big News for my life! I also was selected to be part of the Wattie Ink Elite Team presented by K-Swiss. Going back to race Ironman Texas and improve on last years results. Lake Placid is also on the docket. Hopefully I can earn another trip to the island I will not speak of.
On the coaching front....Damn....I am working with the most talented group of athletes I could have dreamed to coach. The Black Dragon will be on some very big podiums this year and will be a force to be reckoned with around the globe.
Overall though its been a tough past few months....but the light is at the end of the tunnel. The best news will be announced in 20 days.......BIGGEST NEWS! Stay tuned and join me on this journey.

Rock the W
Respect the Dragon
Rain Down Podiums